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Why the Agriculture Industry Hates Chipotle

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People love Chipotle's "The Scarecrow" - a touching animated short film that's basically a polemic on industrial food.

The agriculture industry hates it.

But the fast-growing burrito chain doesn't care. The company's indifference has been on display in recent days as it stands by its latest viral Web video, which portrays the industry as rampant with animal mistreatment and questionable production practices - all set to the haunting cover of "Pure Imagination" sung by Grammy-winner Fiona Apple.

The video, which has climbed to nearly 7 million combined views, is part of the 20-year-old, 1,500-plus location company's Food With Integrity advertising campaign, which advocates sustainable, locally sourced and hormone-, antibiotic- and genetically modified organism-free products, while portraying other production practices in a negative light.

Chipotle claims to spend only 1.75 percent of its revenue on advertising - half of what most fast-food companies spend - and has seen its revenue grow 16 percent in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period last year.

However, one number is not going up for the burrito giant: friends in the agriculture industry.

"In general, this romanticized view of agriculture is not going to be able to feed the world," said Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, of what the industry sees as Chipotle pushing its ideals on consumers.

Chipotle's latest video, in particular, has ruffled the feathers of the NCC, because it shows chickens being injected with what seem to be hormones even though those are not allowed in poultry production.



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